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How do you know if your workplace is healthy? How do you determine the health of your workplace?

There are many ways to determine health:

  • Mental health
  • Physical health
  • Spiritual health
  • Emotional health
  • Financial health

As I’m writing this post, it’s a beautiful mild early summer morning. I have the window in my office open to let in the cool morning breeze. I can hear the birds chirping and see people outside getting their early morning exercise .

So, today, I’d like to explore the idea of slowing down and enjoying the beautiful world around us.

Slow down and enjoy the beautiful world around you!

Slow down and enjoy the beautiful world around you!

When was the last time you enjoyed a quiet moment outside? I’m not referring to the awareness of the sun on your face when you’re walking to your car from the office. I’m referring to taking some specific time to really stop and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer… Literally scheduling time to get outside and enjoy this beautiful world?

I find that we can rush through life and never slow down to enjoy the beauty around us. Then, one day we realize that all our time has been used on being inside. Trust me, I have a lot of great work to do at my desk and I accomplish a lot when I’m working with focus.

I’ve had those “end of summer” moments where it dawns on me that I didn’t go camping once. Or, where I get to the end of my work week and realize that I haven’t done anything all week to connect with nature… other than complain how hot my car is from the sun. Then, Saturday is here and I haven’t made plans to enjoy the great outdoors, so I just do a bunch of errands… as if grocery shopping counts for “getting outside”!

Here are a few suggestions on how you can get more enjoyment out of your work week and feel like you’re creating a healthier space for yourself (and maybe even for your team!):

  1. Use a note tracking system to gather thoughts about places and interesting outdoor things to do. I’m a huge Evernote fan, but I also love my paper planner. Which ever way you gather your ideas for enjoying the outdoors, just do it! If you don’t keep track of interesting ideas that come your way, you won’t do it. Keeping the information in one place will calm your mind to know that you can refer to the notes when you’re ready to plan.
  2. Look at your calendar and determine where you can fit in some outdoor time. I think it’s great to do outdoor time with other people, so an easy way to accomplish this during the week is by heading up a walking group at work. Ask some of your peers if they’d like to go for a walk each day. It’s a great way to get in light exercise, clear your head, and connect with your peers. One caveat: Don’t turn the group walking into a complaining fest!
  3. Enjoy lunch outside. Sitting on a bench and relaxing away from your desk is a great way to connect with nature, clear your head, and breathe in some fresh air!

You’re probably picked up on my emphasis that getting out of the office and into nature is a great way to clear your head. Then, when you go back to the office, you’ll have a fresh restart in the middle of your day.

Studies show that when you’re at your desk all day – not taking a break even for lunch – that you actually aren’t as productive. It’s much better to take a break and let your mind relax.

Connecting with nature is one of the best ways to recharge batteries. Look for those places around the office building where you can unplug from the busy-ness of the office and refill with some of the natural beauty that is just outside your office window!

I’m looking forward to my afternoon walk to help my day be healthier… What do you have planned to connect with Mother Nature today and create a healthier work day for yourself?